Azerbaijani students angered by new exam admittance rules after 6-week internet shutdown
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, university students in Azerbaijan could only attend online lectures.
Given the almost complete shutdown of the internet during the second Karabakh war in October-November, students were told they would be admitted to exams regardless of their academic performance.
But suddenly, two weeks before the exams, the rules have changed.
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From September 27 to November 12, Internet access in Azerbaijan was severely limited, with the government explaining this step as a measure to counter information warfare during the days of the second Karabakh war.
It is worth noting that due to quarantine measures and the lack of full-time study, students living in rented apartments in Baku left for their homes located in regions of the country where there are still problems with Internet access.
On December 18, 2020, the Academic Council of Baku State University (BSU) made a decision that caused discontent among many, obliging students to have received more points than was earlier promised during their courses in order to be allowed to take the exam.
JAMnews asked students and teachers their opinion about the decision.
Farid Jabbarov, a third-year student of the Faculty of Oriental Studies, says he has a negative attitude towards the decision of the Academic Council. According to the student, he, like many other students, does not have constant access to the Internet, and for this reason he was forced to skip lessons.
But there are also students who support the decision. 4th year student on the Faculty of Journalism, Chichek Mammadova, says that this was the only right decision: “As far as I could, I took part in all the lessons and received marks. I think it would be unfair for us to admit all students to the exams with the maximum score. “
University teachers also expressed their opinion on the decision. Speaking to JAMnews, journalism teacher Samira Hasanli said:
“To be honest, such a decision should have been made in September. There would be no such voids in the educational process, and students would have treated the lessons more responsibly. But it is also impossible to condemn them strictly: there was a pandemic, a war and other unexpected events during this period. [These] were the first such experience for all of us.
The students are worried now. For the rest of the week, they need to get three marks in different subjects. This is not an easy task. To help the students, I have reduced the number of exam questions somewhat.
I think that a huge burden falls on teachers, and we are obliged to help students to facilitate this process for them. Naturally, for those who regularly attended the lessons, there are no special problems. I am ready to answer any of my students at any time of the day. But I think it would be wrong to make such a decision one or two weeks before the end of the semester.“
BSU students have expressed their attitude to the decision of the Academic Council on social media.
“How correct is it to give 50 points to everyone in a row? Those who got up at 8:30 to connect to lessons daily, and those who just skipped classes. I hope that the teachers will take into account all these nuances, ”writes Aidan Jumshudzade, a third-year student at the Faculty of History.
But Afsana Kamal, a 5th year student of the Faculty of Journalism with correspondence course, cannot get answers to her questions, although she has repeatedly applied to the dean’s office. She also expressed her protest on social media:
“For us correspondence students, the semester has already ended. And BSU today made the decision about the 20 points. The remaining 30 points we must score in the classroom. Which have already ended for us. And where do I get these marks? Who will give me the missing marks? I will add that during the whole semester we did not have any classes.“